British Columbia

Chong recall bid fails

Organizers say their effort to recall Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong has failed.
Organizers fell well short of recalling B.C. MLA Ida Chong, the first in a series of such anti-HST campaigns, the CBC's Stephen Smart reports 2:19

Organizers say their effort to recall Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong has failed.

They needed to sign up 40 per cent of voters by Feb 4. They got only 8,818 of the 15,368 signatures needed to succeed.

Organizer Mike Hayes said he's disappointed and blames everything from the wording of the act to the weather for the campaign's failure.

"The number of people not home over the holiday season was absolutely staggering and we had not factored that into the campaign," said Hayes.

He also noted the law doesn't allow recall canvassers entry to apartments, condos and seniors' residences.    Hayes also suggested thousands of public servants and people on social assistance were intimidated into not signing up.

Chong said it's ludicrous to suggest anyone was trying to intimidate voters.

"If they suggested I was providing that kind of scare tactic, that would be intimidation and that is against the Elections Act. I wouldn't do that. So, first and foremost people needed to know the facts of what was happening with the recall, because it isn't like an election," Chong said.

  Chong said she welcomes the failure of the recall campaign. She said it was attempt by the NDP to refight the last election.


Other recall bids underway

Two other recall campaigns have been approved by Elections BC. 

One is underway in Comox and another begins today in Kamloops-North Thompson.

B.C.’s Acting Chief Electoral Officer Craig James announced Monday he has approved in principle an application for a petition to recall Kamloops-North Thompson Liberal MLA Terry Lake.

"The petition will be issued on Thursday, February 3, 2011, and at that time, registered canvassers may begin collecting signatures. The petition must be returned to this office no later than Monday, April 4, 2011," James said.

James said in Kamloops-North Thompson, 38,246 voters were registered to vote on May 12, 2009.

Registered canvassers will have 60 days to collect 15,299 or more valid signatures on the recall petition. The expenses limit for the proponent and the Member is $39,788.55.

The proponent of the recall is Chad Byron Moats, said James.